Friday, 23 January 2015

The Conspiracy Of Silence #ChildAbuse

Victims of sex crimes are frequently reluctant to disclose such crimes. Be they adult victims of rape, children currently being abused sexually or adults who were sexually abused in childhood. 

Our sexuality is the most intimate and personal aspect of our lives. To have that invaded, soiled, and degraded is the most heinous of offences against our person. 

It takes an immense amount of courage to tell someone that we have been a victim of sex crimes.

Fear and coercion is frequently used to try and keep the victim silent and it's not just the perpetrator of the crime that tries to keep the victim silent. Family, friends, colleagues or authority figures often use the "shame" card or simply blunt disbelief to silence the victim.  In so doing they are almost as guilty as the rapist or abusers themselves. 

If the victim gets past these negative influences they then have to go through the process of retelling their history in order to try and seek justice, therapy and some closure. There have been some improvements in recent years, but nowhere near enough. The system itself is corrupt. The perpetrator must be seen as innocent until proven guilty. This basically makes the victim a liar until the courts decide they were telling the truth. 

The language used to describe sex crimes is all too often prejudicial to the victim. More on this HERE.

The reported figures of 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 3 girls as victims of a sexual crime is, in my opinion, far off the mark. I believe that boys and men are far more reluctant to disclose sexual crimes due mostly to the common held belief that men must be macho. 


Having or characterised by qualities considered manly, especially when manifested in an assertive, self-conscious, or dominating way. Refusal to show pain or presumed weakness in front of peers or authority figures.  

How many men do you know that refuse to show pain, or admit illness? Would they freely admit that they had been "victims" and that they had been rendered helpless and attacked sexually? Not all men feel this way, otherwise there would be no reporting of sex crimes against men at all. Unfortunately, society still seems to expect men to be the strong, silent, tough guys. Men dare not show weakness. Men should not cry. Men should be the hunter and not the hunted. What total rubbish. This mentality is damaging to men as a whole, and especially so to those that are the victims.

I know many men who will not speak out because they are afraid to be seen as weak, that they will be laughed at, that society will consider them "less of a man". These men suffer in silence, keeping the secrets of those that abused them in the first place. This society induced conspiracy of silence that surrounds these men prevents them from seeking the help they need, from sharing their burden with their nearest and dearest, and permits the abuser the freedom to carry on with their vile crimes undetected.

I know many men will think that it's better to "shut up and put up" and that they would rather die than divulge the crimes against them. In truth, many boys and men do die. Suicide being preferable to speaking out. The rapist or paedophile wins every time.

This has to STOP.


Patricia Singleton said...

As hard as it was for me as a woman to tell my story of incest and family alcoholism, I know it is much harder for a man. I believe that by speaking out we are slowly changing society's beliefs. Thank you for the work that you do, Jan.

Lindy Stanford said...

This article has touched my soul as the mother of an abused son who was then disowned by his paternal family for "reporting it to the DA" instead of "Beating the older cousin who abused him." They never spoke to him again and he is now 24 and while they attended the abuser's ball games, I was keeping my son from suicide. It is insane that the machismo factor is EVER discussed when kids are abused. They are children and mine was totally innocent which left him open to the predator. It must stop now with education and information for all children. I thought he was safe at his grandparents house and they are the ones who betrayed him.

Don Shetterly - Relaxing Piano Music said...

The reason I keep trying to share, write, talk and let others knows... one day hopefully no one will have to endure this horror.


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